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  1. #1

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    Please post tunes/recordings where comping (guitar or piano) has great educational value.
    One of my favourite comping masters is Ed Bickert . The Ballad Artistry of Buddy Tate is a great album to listen to even just for comping alone:

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Jim Hall with Paul Desmond on "Glad To Be Unhappy".

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Jim Hall with Paul Desmond on "Glad To Be Unhappy".
    So good. Jim Hall with anybody, really. The master.

    I'll also add Ed Bickert with anybody, but especially as part of the Desmond Quartet. Some of my favorite music ever.

    Philip Catherine's comping is brilliant on the record he made with Tom Harrell as a tribute to Chet Baker--"I Remember You."

  5. #4

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    Yes me too, I saw the title of this thread and immediately thought Jim Hall

  6. #5

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    Jim Hall's comping on ballads is sublime.

    For high energy Brazilian jazz, Chico Pinheiro is as good as anybody I've heard. He can drive a band from the guitar chair better than I thought it could be done before I heard him do it. I'm not sure which recording to recommend. They're all great.

    He also can play a ballad. Check out Book of Longing by Luciana Souza, which also has terrific playing by Scott Colley.

  7. #6

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    Barney Kessel with Julie London


    Julie Is Her Name - Julie London - YouTube

  8. #7

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    Jim Hall's playing on the Sonny Rollins album The Bridge.
    Every track is a masterclass.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  9. #8

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    Pat Metheny comping Charlie Haden's solos on 80/81. (wow, I've just realized it was 40 years ago... I clearly remember listening that just after it came out as it was yesterday...)

  10. #9

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    Yep, Jim Hall.

  11. #10

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    Any date where Peter Bernstein gets to comp. Chip off the old Jim Hall block.

  12. #11

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    Jim Mullen once told me he learned guitar so he could comp, no one was comping in a modern style on guitar. He is great at it.

    Dave Cliff as well. I’ve been listening to his album with Howard Alden and they are absurdly simpatico. It’s crazy. Howard comps like an Mf too unsurprisingly.

    Pasquale Grasso’s comping may be my favourite thing about his playing. It’s absurdly good.

  13. #12

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    Not an album, but some of my favourite comping

  14. #13
    What's a good Peter Burnstein album for listening to comping that doesn't feature a piano.

  15. #14
    Comping is the most impressionistic part of a combo I think. That's why I find it to be very complex. The role of the comping isn't as clearly defined as the other parts.

    The harmony is already there (bassline and solo), rhythm is already there (drums and solo and bassline), the melody is already there (solo). So even if comping doesn't exist, song is already happening. Which makes comping more like painting, you bring out or build on certain elements of the harmony and rhythm (even melody) in an abstract and incomplete manner to elevate the performance. Otherwise you are either getting in the way or you're just being predictable and boring.

    Moreover there doesn't seem to be any useful resource about the art of comping other than the recordings themselves. My comping bores me, hence this thread. I'm gonna have to learn this one the hard way

  16. #15

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    Here is Philip Catherine with Dexter Gordon on Yesterday's Mood; I love the use of effects to create that 'fat' background sound Philip gets while comping for Gordon.


  17. #16

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  18. #17

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    Bickert is my favorite comp-er - in fact he's my favorite jazz guitarist altogether. This live Frank Rosolino album is a gift that never stops giving - I've been listening to it for over thirty years.



    "Pure Desmond" is a close runner up.

    I also love John Scofield's comping on this Joe Henderson album:



    For me comping is the most fun thing in playing jazz guitar.

  19. #18

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    i love jim hall...bickert...whew... i mean top faves..but when i think of pure comping...i think back of more trad chordal technique...one of the best of the remaining old school style few-james chirillo

    here's an excellent primer-




    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 03-10-2020 at 09:39 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    One of my favourite comping masters is Ed Bickert . The Ballad Artistry of Buddy Tate is a great album to listen to even just for comping alone:
    Thanks for this one - always on the lookout for more Bickert and I didn't know about this one!

  21. #20
    Here is a good article about Jim Hall's comping on Days of Wine and Roses along with a transcription of the comping:
    Jim Hall’s Comping on “Days Of Wine And Roses” (A Jazz Notebook)

    The recording discussed in the article:


  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Here is a good article about Jim Hall's comping on Days of Wine and Roses along with a transcription of the comping:
    Jim Hall’s Comping on “Days Of Wine And Roses” (A Jazz Notebook)
    One nice thing about the relatively primitive mixing techniques of the early 1960s is that Jim Hall's comping sometimes get's shoved over into one channel, while the horn (Desmond, Farmer, Rollins) is panned hard in the other channel. It's easy to hear what Hall is doing by muting the horn channel. For example:


  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard
    One nice thing about the relatively primitive mixing techniques of the early 1960s is that Jim Hall's comping sometimes get's shoved over into one channel, while the horn (Desmond, Farmer, Rollins) is panned hard in the other channel. It's easy to hear what Hall is doing by muting the horn channel. For example:
    When I listen to these on my computer, both left and right channels seem to have the mixed recording, comping is not separated.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    When I listen to these on my computer, both left and right channels seem to have the mixed recording, comping is not separated.
    You are right, the panning isn't 100%, and the horns bleed over a bit--moreso for the Art Farmer than the Rollins. If you listen to the Rollins audio, it's pretty obvious you aren't hearing the real stereo mix or a mono mix that would ever be released...Sonny sounds like he's off in another room playing quietly.

  25. #24
    An interesting thing about transcribing comping seems to be that you still need to know the changes before hand just like when transcribing solos. Especially when transcribing a short (couple of bars) chord pattern. If you're transcribing a couple of choruses fully then changes can be figured out.

    Comping and basslines do not always make the changes explicit but they rather get layered on top of the implied changes. For example the first chord of a tune I was transcribing today sounded clearly minor to me. When I figured out the voices it turned out to be Bb minMaj 7 and the bass played the note Bb on the first two beats. When I checked the tune, the first chord was Eb7. So Bb minMaj7 implies Eb7sus. Good luck figuring that the chord was Eb7 if you don't know the changes already. Even the bass line doesn't always give it away. But of course many chords are easier to figure out than in this example.

  26. #25

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    Ray Brown , Herb Ellis, Monty Alexander Trios!

  27. #26

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  28. #27

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    james chirillo gives his player recommendations- some great ones! and with great info

    these were filmed as a part of the essentially ellington project




    cheers

  29. #28

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    another great vid with wynton m breaking it down...chirillo on guitar





    cheers

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    What's a good Peter Burnstein album for listening to comping that doesn't feature a piano.
    That's a good question, he's on so much organ stuff, and his quartet was with Brad Mehldau...

    His comping on gigs posted online is most of what I heard him do TBH... Any ideas, anyone?

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    james chirillo gives his player recommendations- some great ones! and with great info

    these were filmed as a part of the essentially ellington project




    cheers
    Rhythm guitar isn't comping

  32. #31

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    Or is it?

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    An interesting thing about transcribing comping seems to be that you still need to know the changes before hand just like when transcribing solos. Especially when transcribing a short (couple of bars) chord pattern. If you're transcribing a couple of choruses fully then changes can be figured out.

    Comping and basslines do not always make the changes explicit but they rather get layered on top of the implied changes. For example the first chord of a tune I was transcribing today sounded clearly minor to me. When I figured out the voices it turned out to be Bb minMaj 7 and the bass played the note Bb on the first two beats. When I checked the tune, the first chord was Eb7. So Bb minMaj7 implies Eb7sus. Good luck figuring that the chord was Eb7 if you don't know the changes already. Even the bass line doesn't always give it away. But of course many chords are easier to figure out than in this example.
    Yeah... I think that's called... jazz?

    Seriously, that's a very salient point.

    A good idea of a (conventional) tune always has to start with a very vanilla understanding of what's going on in the melody and chords. That might not even be drawn from jazz for vocal standards. For Peter Bernstein, it often comes from the published sheet music.

    The language of jazz goes on top of this...

    Of course we jazz 'eds know that Bbm(maj7) is a ii-V swap for Eb7 and kind of common on IVm/bVII7 chords and VIm/II7 and the like (you might see it as a Lydian Dominant thing)... But that's kind of a jazz thing (to me IVm(maj7) always sounds old school song book and bVII7#11 always sounds more bebop. What do you think?)

    BTW Bbm7 implies Eb7sus4. Bbm(maj7) implies Eb7#11

    Although the bass obviously says what it is... Could be a myriad of things depending on that... But the same middle voice leading for us...

  34. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah... I think that's called... jazz?

    Seriously, that's a very salient point.

    A good idea of a tune always has to start with a very vanilla understanding of what's going on in the melody and chords. That might not even be drawn from jazz. For Peter Bernstein, it often comes from the published sheet music.

    The language of jazz goes on top of this...

    Of course we jazz 'eds know that Bbm(maj7) is a ii-V swap for Eb7 and kind of common on IVm/bVII7 chords and VIm/II7 and the like (you might see it as a Lydian Dominant thing)... But that's kind of a jazz thing (to me IVm(maj7) always sounds old school song book and bVII7#11 always sounds more bebop. What do you think?)

    BTW Bbm7 implies Eb7sus4. Bbm(maj7) implies Eb7#11

    Although the bass obviously says what it is...
    Yes, true Lydian dominant, I miss wrote.
    TBH I only transcribed solos so far. Transcribing chords (outside of ear training contexts) is new to me. Starting to transcribe chords more for comping and learning from great compers.
    I had the idea that as a challenge I should lift a completely new tune from a record without knowing the changes. But I think you're right, knowing at least the vanilla version or transcribing tunes one knows well is more productive, at least initially. Harmonic deviations from the "chart" and other comping devices are much easier to make sense of this way. Moreover one doesn't need to transcribe the whole tune, only things that catches their ears and spend time to digest them. Of course it's necessary to know what harmonic context is implicit in the part that's transcribed.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Rhythm guitar isn't comping
    well i think we're getting into semantics here...the actual dictionary definition of comping is-

    "the action of playing a musical accompaniment, especially in jazz or blues."

    covered!!

    what separates freddie green style comping from say, jim hall?..the lack of improvisation? the strict time rigidity??

    well surely freddie green was considered mighty groundbreaking in his day...just as hall was in his...

    comping is equally valid as a more purely rhythmic device as it is to a harmonic embellishment

    cheers

  36. #35

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    Some players (e.g. Herb Ellis) seem to make a distinction between ‘rhythm guitar’ (= 4 to the bar like Freddie) and ‘comping’ (where there is more variety of rhythms and voicings). There is a video on YouTube by Herb where he talks about it and when he would use each type.

    Have to admit I was not aware of this before I saw that video.

  37. #36
    Interesting distinction. I guess establishing a groove goes into the rhythm guitar category as well.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    That's a good question, he's on so much organ stuff, and his quartet was with Brad Mehldau...

    His comping on gigs posted online is most of what I heard him do TBH... Any ideas, anyone?
    There are some albums on Criss Cross with Peter Bernstein in the band and no keyboards, e.g. those led by sax players Grant Stewart or Ralph Lalama. I haven’t heard them though.

  39. #38

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    Here’s a track from one of them:


  40. #39

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    Well, I took the piano disqualifier quite literally and would humbly suggest this:



    I never tire of this video and it showcases PB's complete skill set very well.

  41. #40

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    My combo comping style is based on listening to pianists. Bill Evans is a good teacher.


  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevmoga
    Well, I took the piano disqualifier quite literally and would humbly suggest this:



    I never tire of this video and it showcases PB's complete skill set very well.
    Not too much audible comping is there, but what a guitar tone!

  43. #42

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    I would recommend dozens of youtube videos of David, but here is one which exactly fits to this thread

    I Should Care Ed Bickert Comping - YouTube

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    well i think we're getting into semantics here...the actual dictionary definition of comping is-

    "the action of playing a musical accompaniment, especially in jazz or blues."

    covered!!

    what separates freddie green style comping from say, jim hall?..the lack of improvisation? the strict time rigidity??

    well surely freddie green was considered mighty groundbreaking in his day...just as hall was in his...

    comping is equally valid as a more purely rhythmic device as it is to a harmonic embellishment

    cheers
    The All American rhythm section (Basie, Green, Page, Jo Jones) was definitely ground breaking, but I’m not sure about FG so much. His style of the time sounds to me like typical thirties rhythm guitar, but he obviously refined and honed it over the next decade.... maybe someone has a bit more perspective to add?

    comping is the art of improvised accompaniment. Improvisation is present in rhythm guitar but isn’t a dominant aspect (hey I do a lot of those gigs, not disparaging it)

    I think Jim Hall really broke the mould by taking over the piano role. Before then guitar was its own thing. And piano had undergone its own development from Fats Waller to Bud Powell and beyond via Teddy Wilson and Earl Hines.

    so that was a gradual shift from steady left hand accompaniment to a broken up conversational left hand style. You can still hear the stride in Bud and Monk, but it’s irregular. I can’t think of a more didactic example than Blue Monk which is what happens when a standard stride tenths cliche goes through the rhythmic blender.

    anyway, so you get to the 50s and people like Chuck Wayne, Billy Bean, Jim Hall, Tal Farlow and so on are still playing their highly legato, volume rolled down, ride cymbal-esque bop style of straight fours, often with piano. Even FG goes more this way. (contrast to how FG played rhythm in the late 30s totally different). This all parallels developments in drumming btw.

    Jim breaks it up with undercurrents... and then takes the piano chair with the bridge. Now he is playing full volume ringing electric chord voicings rather than rolling down the volume for a percussive effect.

    that history is a bit oversimplified. But that’s how I understand it. Bit of a step change rather than the gradual shifts in piano. Guitar copied piano and stopped being a variant on the drum set, if you like.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-12-2020 at 03:08 PM.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    My combo comping style is based on listening to pianists. Bill Evans is a good teacher.

    Red Garland surely?

    and yes you would learn a lot from him about comping...

  46. #45

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    When I saw the title of the post, Kessel and Julie came right to my mind as well. For me, his comping and her dark, sultry warm voice- I never tire of hearing that duo.

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard
    You are right, the panning isn't 100%, and the horns bleed over a bit--moreso for the Art Farmer than the Rollins. If you listen to the Rollins audio, it's pretty obvious you aren't hearing the real stereo mix or a mono mix that would ever be released...Sonny sounds like he's off in another room playing quietly.
    Actually you're right, now that I'm listening to the recordings with a proper channel control and speakers, even in the art farmer recording each channel gets a very different mix. Left channel is mostly the guitar and drums and the right channel is mostly the trumpet and bass.

  48. #47

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    Joe Beck did some nice comping on this LP>



    But overall for my personal taste, Paul Desmond's records with Jim Hall and Ed Bickert features some of the finest comping ever played by a jazz guitarist.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Yes, true Lydian dominant, I miss wrote.
    TBH I only transcribed solos so far. Transcribing chords (outside of ear training contexts) is new to me. Starting to transcribe chords more for comping and learning from great compers.
    I had the idea that as a challenge I should lift a completely new tune from a record without knowing the changes. But I think you're right, knowing at least the vanilla version or transcribing tunes one knows well is more productive, at least initially. Harmonic deviations from the "chart" and other comping devices are much easier to make sense of this way. Moreover one doesn't need to transcribe the whole tune, only things that catches their ears and spend time to digest them. Of course it's necessary to know what harmonic context is implicit in the part that's transcribed.
    Chelsea Bridge? I've seen both Bbmin(maj7)-Abmin(maj7) and Eb7#11-Db7#11 for the opening bars in real books. Melody is often an important determinant and the melodic movement in CB after the initial ascending scale intro is very minimal. Whereas, I've only seen the first set of parallel changes given in lead sheets for Nica's Dream.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr690
    Jim Hall's playing on the Sonny Rollins album The Bridge.
    Every track is a masterclass.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    Came to say this exact same thing.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    What's a good Peter Burnstein album for listening to comping that doesn't feature a piano.
    Rather than albums, maybe check out all the Peter Bernstein & Michael Kanan duo clips on YouTube. Ok, they do feature piano but the players alternate comping duties. From memory, they're all on one YT channel and are taken from gigs at Smalls and The Drawing Room in Brooklyn.